Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eating Dark Chocolate and watching Paul Holmes' Apology - Karlo Mila

Eating Dark Chocolate and watching Paul Holmes' Apology
- Karlo Mila

i am sucking on a sante bar / sneaked / bought at pak'n'save
in a cigarette gold wrapper / i remember when you bought
them in dairies / they were stripped and served undressed /
edges worm from the friction / getting down with the
brown / chocolate dust was in the air

i am watching paul holmes apologise for calling kofi annan a
darkie / darkie takes me back to

6 years old / school grounds /see-saws / we won the
war / we won the war in 1944 / mean boys alternating
between catch and kissing and sticks and stones / darkie /
tania got called blackie / golliwog / i remember being
thankful i was pretty and fair / and had long hair / no one
called me manu off playschool or darkie / i was a milk
chocolate glass and a half / half caste / caramello enough to
be safe from bitter dark accusations

tonight paul holmes apologised for calling kofi annan a
darkie / takes me back to

10 years old / sitting on my dad's stomach / him flat on the
sofa / we're watching a week night movie / southern
drawls and white sheets / me crying hot wet tears over
black men with hurt in their eyes / what does lynching
mean maka? / my daddy / dark / my feet dangling off his
tummy / me milky brown chocolatey sweet / wanting
to grow up and be prime minister / or a lawyer like
matlock / make everything all right for darkies everywhere

tonight paul holmes apologised for calling kofi annan a
darkie / takes me back

15 years old / barry / surf lifesaver / washboard abs /
the mattel man / automatic winking machine / ambivalent
crush / half hate / half fetish / blonde frosting in his fringe /
darkies / that's what he called us / hope you don't mind
darkies / he said / setting up his mate / flirting on the phone

tonight paul holmes apologised for calling kofi annan a
darkie / takes me back

17 years old / do you think they would ever let a boonga
be prime minister / corey p / dreadlocked bob marley
wannabe / says to me / mocking laughter / he's drunk at
three / in highbury / but we never dreamed they'd let an
indian woman be mayor of dunedin / so let's sukhi it to
them corey p / we were darkies anonymous then / making
fun of ourselves before anyone else could / revolution in
the bottom of a bong / cutting off our veins to spite our
lives /

tonight paul holmes apologised to the nation

i am 28 / aucklander / jokes about jaffas don't involve
maoris and minis / just another f-ing aucklander / the
p.i.'s here outnumber prejudice in wide open spaces /
skinheads low key / less closely shorn / too much rugby
league brawn / on the arms of coconuts / i've been told
i'm the cream rising to the top / the cream of the crop /
nesian queen / rank and file member of the chocolate
soldier movement / getting down witht he brown /

tonight paul holmes apologised

sorry / he said / i've hurt my family / i may have hurt
yours /

yes / we scrapped in the car over it / there was yelling / by
the time we got to the end of the mangere motorway / i
was crying / who is this redneck with the big brown
shoulders sitting next me / anti pc / darker than me /
defending freedom of speech / but i don't want it to be all
right /

/ i don't want my kids to have stanzas of darkie memories /

sorry / paul holmes said / i could see that he meant it / i felt
sad for him / and happy / i signed the petition to say he
should get sacked / i am a manager in a govt department /
not matlock / not the pm / just a member of the chocolate
soldier movement / melting in the middle

Karlo Mila is of Tongan, Palangi and Samoan descent. She was born in Rotorua, grew up in Palmerston North and now lives and works in Auckland. She has had poetry published in Whetu Moana, Best New Zealand Poems 2003, Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of Fusion Poetry, the Listener and Coffee and Coconuts. Karlo performs live poetry regularly.

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